Director dealings: Top men ride Shaft Sinkers switchback

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SHARES in underground construction group Shaft Sinkers have been on something of a roller coaster in recent weeks.

Although the company was hit by news of strikes in mines in South Africa and a legal claim, it has since won a number of new orders.

Despite a recent recovery, shares in the company, which specialises in the sinking of particularly deep and wide shafts used primarily in mining and hydropower applications, are still trading at less than half the level they were in August.

Two directors appear to believe they offer good value and have gone into the market in the past week to invest.

Alon Davidov, chief executive, bought 78,554 shares at 38p each, his first holding in the company.

Chief financial officer Christopher Hall bought his first stake in the company with the purchase of 10,000 shares at 38.5p each.

• Paul Walsh, chief executive of spirits group Diageo, has sold shares for the second time this month. He disposed of 20,000 shares for 1,850p each.

• Christopher Fraser, a non-executive director at Aberdeen-based oil and gas engineering services company Plexus Holdings has doubled his stake in the company. Fraser bought 5,000 shares at 200p.

• Dr Christopher Masters, chairman of Livingston-based gas metering company Energy Assets, has bought 20,000 shares at 190p each to take his holding up to 30,000 shares.

His purchase came after the company reported a 38 per cent jump in first-half profits and unveiled a contract with Dong Energy Sales to supply its industrial and commercial customers. The deal with Dong, which was formerly Shell’s Gas 
Direct business, is the first new advanced meter contract signed by the firm since it acquired Manchester-based Gazprom Global Energy Solutions in a £13.5m transaction last month.

• Graham Paton, a non-executive director at human resources consulting group Penna Consulting, has purchased 20,000 shares at 88.3p each. It is his first holding in the company.

• Pascal Soriot, the new chief executive officer of drugs giant AstraZeneca, has purchased 3,500 shares at 2,825p to take his stake up to 141,716 shares.